World Vision disappointed over lukewarm G8 commitments

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 8 /CNW/ - For a government that prides itself on
accountability and action, Canada's contributions at the G8 summit in Japan
did little to move prior G8 commitments toward measurable results, World
Vision says.
    This G8 Summit has created little hope for the millions of children
infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, and the parents of the children dying
every three seconds to poverty related illnesses. The international
development organization points out that once again, the final communiqué
failed to include a specific plan to make past promises real.
    World Vision urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make child health a
priority at the G8 Summit by setting annual funding pledges for meeting
existing AIDS commitments - a sentiment echoed by more than 30,000 Canadians
who have signed petitions, urging the Prime Minister to honour promises made
at previous G8 Summits.
    "We're one year closer to the 2010 deadline for achieving the G8
development goals set in 2005, and there is nothing from this summit that
indicates that we are any closer to getting back on track," said Michael
Messenger, vice president for public affairs, World Vision Canada.
    The final G8 communiqué on Development and Africa released on Tuesday,
July 8 reiterates past commitments to increase aid levels and HIV and AIDS
funding but still failed to include a specific plan to make these promises
real. For example, the communiqué, while mentioning the need to do more for
the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, excluded specific
references to the funding and the timeline necessary for achieving this.
    More troubling for Canadians are reports that Canada actively worked to
water down commitments. Canada did not endorse a proposed framework of action
on health, but instead lobbied for its inclusion as a non-binding set of
expert recommendations.
    World Vision also sought a timetable to achieve Canada's promises to
increase its foreign aid to the donor country average, but there was no
indication of progress on this.
    Looking ahead, the G8 communiqué referred to the U.N. Summit in September
2008 as a "timely and important opportunity" for addressing international aid.
    "In our assessment, this G8 was a missed opportunity for the government
to show leadership and to demonstrate accountability to Canadians who expect
Canada to do its share. It is urgent that at the September summit, Canada make
specific, measurable and generous commitments towards the realization of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Messenger says.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity or gender.

For further information:

For further information: World Vision staff is available for media
interviews. Please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext 2151, (416)
671-0086 (cell),

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